Sexualities as Social Roles Among Asian- and Pacific Islander American Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals: Implications for Community-Based Health Education and Prevention

  • Frank Y. WongEmail author
  • Chwee Lye Chng
  • Michael W. Ross
  • Kenneth H. Mayer


Purpose: The aims of this paper are (a) to examine sexualities (especially homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism) and their correlates among Asian- and Pacific Islander (API) Americans, and (b) to explore their implications for community-based health education and prevention targeting API gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) individuals. Study selection: Derived from the literature of human sexuality, sex-roles socialization, and cross-cultural psychology, a framework was developed to examine sexualities as social roles among APIs. Data synthesis: There are three major sections to this article. The first section is a sociohistorical analysis about the diversity of the API communities, followed by a brief review of health beliefs and practices among APIs. The second section examines the framework used to study sexualities among APIs. In the last section, implications for API community-based health education and prevention targeting GLBT individuals are examined in light of a case study. Conclusions: Sexualities among APIs are discussed using a sexualities-as-social-role paradigm. This paradigm emphasizes the powerful influences of cultural forces in articulating social roles or scripts on sexualities. Sexual expression(s) and its correlates (e.g., identity) among API GLBT individuals are the product of a “relational” rather than a “linear” process—a premise that differentiates it from the “sexual script theory.” A fact-based case study was used to illustrate the various concepts of the paradigm.

Asian- and Pacific Islander Americans gays lesbians bisexuals transgender individuals sexualities social roles community-based education and prevention 


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Copyright information

© Gay and Lesbian Medical Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Y. Wong
    • 2
    Email author
  • Chwee Lye Chng
    • 3
  • Michael W. Ross
    • 4
  • Kenneth H. Mayer
    • 1
  1. 1.Fenway Community Health CenterBoston
  2. 2.The Fortune SocietyNew York
  3. 3.Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and RecreationUniversity of North TexasDenton
  4. 4.University of Texas-Houston Health Sciences CenterHouston

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